Fuseworks Media

Stats NZ data confirms – we’re drinking differently – NZ Alcohol Beverages Council

Just released Stats NZ data on beer, wine and spirits consumption December 2023 1 shows that we are drinking less and are drinking in a different way.

Our consumption has declined in the past year over all categories by 4.3% to 477 million litres. Beer has declined by 4.4% to 281 million litres; wine by 2.4% to 99 million litres and spirits fell 5.7% to 97 million litres.

Since the data began 16 years ago the number of standard drinks available for consumption has declined by 12.3%. 2 Health NZs low-risk alcohol drinking advice for women is no more than 10 standard drinks a week and men no more than 15 standard drinks a week.

“Some of this cultural change reflects that we are drinking differently including sipping and savouring a beverage and turning to low and no-alcohol beverages”, said NZABC executive director Virginia Nicholls.

In recent years New Zealand breweries, distilleries and winemakers have invested in innovation to enhance their no/low beer, wine and spirits offerings, with greater choice and better flavour.

A poll of 1,000 New Zealanders in December 2023 3 found 55% (up from 49% in 2021) of respondents drinking low-alcohol beverages at least some of the time, and some of us prefer low alcohol beverages.

The NZ annual Health Survey 4 tells us that more of us are drinking in a more responsible way with 84% of New Zealand adults – more than four out of five of us – drinking beer, wine and spirits responsibly. This is an increase of 3 percentage points from last year which is110,000 fewer kiwis drinking in a harmful way 5 .

“We are encouraged by this continuing cultural change, including a reduction in hazardous drinking, however we still have a way to go,” said Virginia


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